Moving is always a scary thought. You’ll basically be leaving a place you called home for a long time in favor of one that you barely know. It’s scary enough to move to a different city – let alone abroad.
However, the more prepared you are, the less scary it becomes. When you are moving abroad, you need to be aware of the fact that you’ll be leaving your comfort zone. You probably won’t even be using the same language – so it’s going to be a big change.
Things won’t be easy from the very beginning – but they can become better if you are prepared for them. You just need to keep several things in mind so that you can tackle moving like a boss.
- Home Will Stop Being “Home”
Once you have moved abroad, your previous home won’t be “home” anymore – regardless of what you do to the place. The old concept of home will have to change since you will now have your heart set into two places: where you left and where you are now.
Here’s another catch: once you go to your first home, you’ll start missing the second one – the one abroad. That’s because that place has become a place of many memories – a place you hold dear. So “home” will never be just one place anymore.
- Relationships Won’t Stay the Same
It’s one thing to temporarily move abroad for a month or two and it’s a whole different thing to completely change your residence. You’re all going to say “oh, but we’ll keep in touch, we’ll Skype every day, we’ll hang onto our relationship!” Sometimes, it’s true; but generally, less than 10% of friendships survive this kind of ordeal.
Yes, you’ll talk often during the first few weeks. Then you’ll start complaining that you will miss each other. Then you’ll talk again to make up for it. And then, you will no longer talk as often anymore – mainly because you’ll be hanging out with new people. People that you make friends with there.
It’s not like you won’t be friends with those people. It’s just that you won’t have anything to exchange anymore – because you’ll barely be part of each other’s lives.
- You Can’t Just “Wing” a Language
If you’re thinking that you can learn a language by just listening to the native people speak it, you’re greatly mistaken. You need to at least have the basics down. You don’t have to become an expert in the language. Just learn enough so that if you go there, you won’t die of hunger simply because you did not know how to ask the salesman for a piece of bread.
After that, you can perfect it by practicing in the said country. As we already mentioned, you don’t have to be an expert – but if you don’t even know how to say hi or tie two sentences together, most citizens won’t even give you the time of day.
- You’ll Inevitably Feel Lonely
“I know the language,” “I’m familiar with the culture,” “I’ll make a lot of friends there” – these things will obviously cross your mind. Still, you need to remember one thing: you’ll be walking among strangers. At least at the beginning.
Friends won’t be waiting for you the moment you set foot in the airport. If you’re lucky, you’ll have one or two friends who helped you get there – but most of them will be “home,” exactly where you left them. Sure, they may be just one phone call away – but they will no longer be within walking distance.
You will miss home. You’ll be homesick. And it may take you more than a year until you get to know some people that you can actually connect to. The feeling of homesickness won’t truly go away, but if you are lucky enough to find the right people, then things will become more bearable.
- You’ll Need to Manage Your Money
Moving abroad is never going to be cheap. You’ll need money for the plane, you’ll need money for a home deposit – and you’ll most likely need money to survive a month or two there. Even if you get your hands on a job before you move countries, you may still need some time off until the paperwork is done.
In most cases, you will have to go there, get your citizen number – and then you’ll be able to start working. And you can’t really hang on to your expenses if you don’t put aside some cash beforehand.
- It’s Not All Rainbows and Sunshine
You see all kinds of pictures on Pinterest that glorify the place, making it seem like heaven on earth. You see travelers smiling, people with nice tans walking around happily, and the beauty of the city makes you think “this is a nice place to live.” And it might actually be a beautiful place.
At the same time, you’ll have a fair number of downsides – that’s for certain. Your problems may revolve around financial reasons, shady neighborhoods – or an apartment that is not exactly what you have been hoping for. It would be ideal to not put that place on a pedestal.
- You’ll Need to Grow Up
If your life has previously been all rainbows and sunshine, then here’s some news flash for you: if you move abroad, you’ll have to grow up very fast. Most likely, you will be alone there, facing jobs, rent, insurances, visas, and all that adult stuff that would scare you normally.
Whether you like it or not, you will have to become a more responsible person. Unless you have someone to help you out there, you’ll have to deal with everything all alone. And when you are in an unfamiliar country, this will make you have to grow up very fast.
Moving abroad can be rather scary – but if you hang on to the right mindset and you keep some things in mind, it can become much bearable. Time helps a lot as long as you are willing to adjust.
About the Author: Jessica H works for Hire A Mover – her father’s moving company. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling around the world to different surf spots and tasting the local cuisine.